Original Articles

  • CalHHS Secretary Extends Mask Mandate to Mid-February

    Mark Ghaly, M.D., MPH, California Health & Human Services Agency (CalHHS) secretary, has extended California’s indoor mask mandate by another full month. The masking requirement intended to combat the coronavirus pandemic now runs through February 15. While citing a recent surge in the state’s positivity rate to over 21 percent, Ghaly also noted data on […]

  • Fed-OSHA seeks suggestions for strengthening VPP

    Fed-OSHA is holding a stakeholder meeting July 17, in Washington, D.C., to discuss the future direction of its Voluntary Protection Programs. The agency’s aim is to “reshape VPP so that it continues to represent safety and health excellence, leverages partner resources, further recognizes the successes of long-term participants, and supports smart program growth.” Fed-OSHA is […]

Curated Content Articles of Interest from Around the Web

    Prime Day Rush Fuels Amazon Warehouse Injuries

     

    Prime Day ‘Major Cause’ of Amazon Warehouse Injuries: Senate Probe

    • Amazon’s annual Prime Day is a “major cause” of warehouse worker injuries, according to a U.S. Senate investigation.
    • This year’s sales event began yesterday and continues today, July 17.
    • The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee found that in 2019, workplace injuries, such as muscle sprains, rotator cuff injuries and herniated disks, hit a high during Prime Day sales week.
    • The probe revealed that almost 45 out of 100 workers were injured during that period, according to internal data Amazon shared with the Senate panel.
    • Amazon challenged the report, with a spokesperson saying “it draws sweeping and inaccurate conclusions based on unverified anecdotes, and it misrepresents documents that are several years old and contained factual errors and faulty analysis.”
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    Independent Business Group Opposes Warehouse Worker Protection Act

    • The National Federation of Independent Business on Monday called the Warehouse Worker Protection Act “a grab bag of bad policies that includes several provisions that will further hinder the small business economy.”
    • In a letter sent to the US House, the group said H.R. 8639 gives OSHA additional authority that will be costly and time-consuming for small businesses.
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    Employers Advised Caution on Use of AI in Workplace Safety

    • Employers considering the use of artificial intelligence in workplace safety and health compliance, need to consider still-evolving legal concerns about how the systems collect and use monitoring systems data, Bloomberg Law reported Monday.
    • Before employers deploy AI programs as part of their safety efforts, they must need to consider labor and privacy issues that could arise from their use, several attorneys told the publication.
    • “There is a lot of pre-work you should do before you turn on tracking tools,” said Jennifer Betts, a labor attorney in Pittsburgh and co-chair of Ogletree Deakins’ Technology Practice Group. “Even a well-intentioned employer could potentially get themselves in trouble if they don’t do a careful evaluation of all the possible legal risks of these types of tools.”
    • The US Labor Department is now developing principles and best practices “to mitigate the harms and maximize the benefits of AI for workers” by addressing a wide range of topics, including “workplace equity, health, and safety,” according to the report.
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    Construction Safety Startup HammerTech Raises $70M

    • Construction safety startup HammerTech has raised $70 million from Riverwood Capital as the Australian firm is set to expand its U.S. and European operations.
    • Founded in 2013, the company developed a digital platform that consolidates safety, compliance and site operations processes such as onboarding and orientation, safety inspections, incident reporting, and job site compliance.
    • HammerTech employs more than 100 staff and has more than 500 customers globally, including 40 of the 400 largest U.S. building companies, it said.
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